I took another drive out through the Oregon desert on the east side of the Cascades. It’s about three and a half hours from Portland to Yakima, Wa, through the Yakima Nation reservation. It was a cool day, in the low 70’s and crystal clear in all directions.
I got to the rental car place just before closing, and as luck would have it, the only car left was the Audi with 4000 miles on it. This is a nice car; smelled new, very comfortable seats, a big sunroof, powerful engine, quiet ride and a nice sunroof. I don’t usually get excited about cars, but this made for a very enjoyable 7 hour round trip drive.
As I usually do on trips, I listened to a couple of audio books. For this trip I took along two books on Stoic philosophy. As random events go, driving a luxury car while listening to stoic insights is a perfect combination for reflecting on happiness, voluntary poverty, non-attachment, and appreciation for all the abundance of the present moment.
After spending a few hours on the job site, I headed home, swinging north towards Mt. Ranier instead of following the Gorge back home. It added a little time to the trip, but I haven’t been to Mt. Ranier yet, so I took the detour. Spectacular view for the entire drive home. And the environment of the 500,000 year old mountain and the evergreen forests was an additional excellent backstop for the stoic philosophy of being in accord with nature.
When I got back to Portland, I dropped the car off and, as enjoyable as it was for the day, it also felt equally as good to give the car back and not have to make additional payments or have to keep it clean or maintained. I prefer the freedom of not being obligated or committed to that car or any car. $46 I paid for a brand new $50,000 car, not a bad deal.